Apple iPad is it a mobile device?

Mar 9, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I personally think we are going to see many mobile devices which are neither classic mobile phones nor will they be classic PCs or netbooks. They will be a hybrid device, like the Apple iPad or Notion Ink ( This seems to be the general industry direction.

Given these hybrids have increased screensizes, should be classify them as mobile devices and offer them a mobile user experience? Or should we treat it as a PC and given them a PC experience? - even though they don't have keyboards / mice, have a smaller screen than the PC and may/maynot support flash etc.

As website publishers what are your plans for these devices? What do you think your clients would get the most from?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this,


Mar 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

"Is it a mobile device" - is that the right question?

IMHO a better question "Are it's capabilities pre-determined?" - i.e. can it support Flash, will it have a pre-determined screen size and if so, what is it, etc. (iPad: No, Yes: 1024x768). It is these capabilites that should really define what content is presented to a device, not some arbitrary notion of what will fit in a pocket of non-excessive size.


Apr 18, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I say we leave it alone. Apple supplied the user agent and that is what should be used. If a site wants to interpret it differently then so be it.

Jun 25, 2010 at 11:06 PM


Because of the screen size and near full browser support, we treat the iPad as a standard Safari browser. We are seeing over 20k in unique sessions from this platform and we do not redirect to our mobile site because the experience can be preserved on the iPad.  The iPhone supports our site, but the size of the screen make a huge difference.  If you use an iPad it is the same as viewing an iPhone app on the iPad.  You will see that something built for a small screen looks akward and clunky on something that supports HD video and full 1024x768. 

I do feel however the key difference is touch support which cannot be only limited to phones.  Plugins don't make a browser "non" mobile as we designers have the ability to support non-plugin versions of our sites.  I think GDT hit it on the head when he talks about content presented to a device.

All in all I would stray from calling the iPad a "mobile" device.